THE provincial government of Ilocos Norte is sending an additional amount of P1 million in cash for the Super Typhoon Yolanda victims in Leyte, home province of the mother of this province’s chief executive Gov. Imee Marcos.
The governor, first child of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, said the amount will come from the provincial government and from contributions of various local government units and non-government organizations in the province.
Officials of the Ilocos Norte provincial government said that the cash assistance is in addition to the ongoing relief operations in partnership with the Marcos family members who are continually facilitating local and foreign assistance for the calamity-stricken Visayas region.
June Arvin Gudoy, head of the provincial media and communications office, said “the Marcos family is coordinating with the government and even the private sector to provide relief assistance for Yolanda victims.”
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had also earlier visited Tacloban with relief goods and conveyed his family’s efforts “to help rebuild the super typhoon-ravaged Leyte.”
“It is my mother’s wish for the Marcos family to help rebuild Leyte from the ruins left by the super typhoon,” the senator said.
Imelda, who is also the incumbent representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte, hails from Leyte’s capital of Tacloban City, one of the super typhoon’s worst-hit areas.
The former first lady, who is also hailed as a hero in Ilocos Norte, said in a hand written message that she is longing to visit her super typhoon-ravaged hometown; however her doctors have been preventing her because of health reasons, being treated for diabetes.
In a short handwritten message to the members of her family, the former first lady told them not to lose hope: “Ayaw kawang hin paglaun. Matindog kita na mga Waray,” (Let’s not lose hope. We Warays will rise again.)
The 84-year-old Imelda said she first learned over reports on television of her province mate’s dire situation wrought by the super typhoon but the Marcos family also advised her to remain in the hospital.
“We would have really wanted to downplay the extent of the disaster for our ailing mother so as not to aggravate her condition,” Senator Marcos said.
Leyte politics for decades now have been dominated by the former first lady’s kin; her nephews Alfred and Martin are mayor of Tacloban and congressman of Leyte’s first district, respectively. She also served as Leyte representative.